Should You Hire a “Cleaning Lady” or a “Company”?
I can’t tell you how many times I went to homes to give cleaning estimates, to find out they have only used individuals, and not a ‘business’. It is a very common practice to find a ‘cleaning lady’ by referral of a friend or neighbor, or perhaps a local facebook site advertising her services. Often times, the homeowner can receive services for a reduced rate compared to that of the local “professional” maid service company because cleaning ladies have much lower overhead expenses. But does that discount come at a cost?
There are several benefits of using a locally owned maid service company to clean your home and I will point out the two biggest.
Let’s talk about liability first. What happens in the event your cleaning person gets injured in your home? Say she falls down the steps, or slips and falls on a freshly mopped floor? If they are uninsured, your homeowners policy may need to cover them. If you are using a company that carries workers compensation insurance, the company is liable – not the homeowner – to cover any accidental injuries in the home. Depending on the state you live in, not all companies are required by law to carry worker’s comp insurance. Not sure? Ask for a copy of their policy. What if they accidentally use the wrong products and ruin your beautiful natural stone shower? Insurance called a “general liability” policy will cover this type of damage. Some “cleaning ladies” DO have this type of insurance, so just ask. When I first started out, before I hired employees, I still carried general liability insurance.
Let’s talk about the second biggest draw to using a “company” over a cleaning lady: Dependability. A lot of potential clients that I meet with tell me their cleaning lady has quit because she found another “job”, she’s just had a new baby, she got injured and can no longer clean. Sometimes they say, “my cleaning lady keeps rescheduling my appointments”. This isn’t to say that using a “company” will mean your appointments will never be rescheduled; However, most companies have several employees, and when one employee is out sick or on holiday, another employee can “fill in” and still get the jobs done. Often times even, the owners jump in when needed and make every effort to service each client when staffing is an issue.
One ‘negative’ thing about a company may be their revolving door of employees who come and go. If you like the idea of only one person in your home, but you also like the security of a company with full insurance coverage, and professionally trained cleaners; Just ask about the employee turnover. Ask if you will have the same team (or solo cleaner) assigned to your home; and how often are these teams are changing? My Statesville based maid service operates with solo cleaners, which means each home is assigned one cleaner, and our employee turnover is very low for our industry. Sometimes a “cleaning lady” may be the right fit. Weighing all your options and deciding what is most important is a good starting point. You will want someone who you feel very comfortable with in either scenario so it’s a good idea to call around and get at least 3 in home estimates before making a decision.